Terror in Transition: Leadership and Succession in Terrorist Organizations (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare) (Paperback)

Terror in Transition: Leadership and Succession in Terrorist Organizations (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare) By Tricia Bacon, Elizabeth Grimm Cover Image
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What is the role of founding leaders in shaping terrorist organizations? What follows the loss of this formative leader? These questions are especially important to religious terrorist groups, in which leaders are particularly revered.

Tricia L. Bacon and Elizabeth Grimm provide a groundbreaking analysis of how religious terrorist groups manage and adapt to major shifts in leadership. They demonstrate that founders create the base from which their successors operate. Founders establish and explain the group's mission, and they determine and justify how it seeks to achieve its objectives. Bacon and Grimm argue that how successors position themselves in terms of the founder shapes a terrorist group's future course. They examine how and why different types of successors choose to pursue incremental or discontinuous change. Bacon and Grimm emphasize that the instability surrounding succession can place a group at its most vulnerable--the precise time to explore options to weaken or defeat it.

Bacon and Grimm highlight similarities between Islamic terrorist groups abroad and Christian white nationalist groups such as the 1920s Ku Klux Klan in the United States. Drawing on extensive field research in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Pakistan, Terror in Transition features detailed analysis of groups such as al-Shabaab, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and al-Qaeda in Iraq / the Islamic State in Iraq, as well as the KKK. Offering a rigorous theoretical perspective on terrorist leadership transition, this policy-relevant book provides actionable recommendations for counterterrorism practitioners.

About the Author

Tricia L. Bacon is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University and director of the Policy Anti-Terrorism Hub. She is the author of Why Terrorist Groups Form International Alliances (2018). She previously spent ten years working on counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State. Elizabeth Grimm is an associate professor of teaching in the Security Studies Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the author of How the Gloves Came Off: Lawyers, Policy Makers, and Norms in the Debate on Torture (2017). She has also worked in the defense and security sectors of the U.S. government.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780231192255
ISBN-10: 0231192258
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication Date: September 13th, 2022
Pages: 312
Language: English
Series: Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare